Matsu, El Viejo, Tinta de Toro, DO Toro, Spain, 2011
DO Toro: sits astride the Duero, adjoining Rueda to the east. The climate is extremely dry and continental, with very hot summers and very cold winters, with just 400mm of rainfall, mostly in spring. Altitude is about 700m, this, together with clear skies and diurnal variation, means long hang times, slowing down grape development, and developing more complex aromas and flavour precursors. The dry climate also means low disease pressure and healthy grapes.
Alluvial soils dominate, with some sandy soils, all over a limestone base.
Strong dark wines from tinta de toro are traditional, sometimes blended with grenache – but to be labelled DO Toro, must be > 75% tinta de toro; some wines include a little cabernet sauvignon, these are labelled vino de la tierra.
This wine: aged in French oak barriques (225 litres) for 16 months; varietal tinta de toro (aka tempranillo); natural cork closure, 15% abv, Majestic Wine, £20 (2013)
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, of pronounced intensity, youthful, with rich aromas of ripe black cherry, blackberry, over-ripe red plum, a deep rich floral note like violets and peony, black liquorice and vanilla-oak.
Palate: a dry wine, medium acidity, fine-grained well-integrated medium tannins, high alcohol and a medium (+) body, with a rich smooth texture and a low-key sensation of sweetness on the mid-palate (aka sucrosity), a medium (+) intensity, with flavours of black cherry, black berry, a hint of raisin, warm liquorice and a savoury hint. A medium (+) length with a clean black cherry boiled sweet finish.
Quality: a very good quality wine, with fine-grained ripe tannins and acidity harmonious with the intensity of rich ripe and quite concentrated black fruit flavour. Some complexity together with tertiary notes of liquorice and oak, but a little disappointing on the length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing, over say 3-5 years.